Easy Exercise Program Increases Metabolism and Speeds Weight Loss

Understand just the basics about metabolism and you can speed your weight loss. Master your metabolism and you will improve your endurance. What a good exercise program does is increase your metabolism while you’re getting fit to then remove excess fat while leaving your fluid levels intact. The end result is lean muscle strengthened, and an increased metabolism that will carry on burning fat for a long time to come.

As always…check with your doctor before beginning any weight loss program or exercise regime.

If you build your exercise and intensity (slowly) you will burn fat and increase muscle – which, in turn, increases your metabolism. Here is a sample program of consistency and moderation in an easy exercise program.

Start with a few stretching exercises and a brisk twenty minute walk, followed by more stretching exercises.

If you own a pedometer, chart your progress over the course of a week – increasing your steps or distance traveled daily.

Once you are up to, and comfortable with, 15,000 steps a day, it will be time to work on your upper body strength. Tricep dips, push ups and crunches are simple exercises that everyone knows how to perform. Do as many as you can today, and increase your repetitions every day.

Alter your strength training with walks throughout the week. When you’re ready for a new challenge, move onto some lower body workouts after your walks by doing repetitions of squats or following a DVD step workout.

As you lose weight and start feeling more fit, keep stretching but add in the walks, the upper body workouts and the lower body workout and your metabolism will start kicking in and working for you all day. In time you start feeling better about yourself as you do more. You may even want to incorporate or revisit other exercises in your program that you enjoy. Swimming, cycling, spin class at the gym, whatever you choose as long as you enjoy it and it keeps you moving!

Walking Your Way Back to Health with A Pedometer

MP3 Pedometer: Walk With A Furry FriendSo you’ve decided that this is the year you’re going to get in shape and stay in shape, yes? Here at Pedometers.org we want to work with you to keep you on track with your fitness goals. We have a lot of exciting developments planned over the next year and we’d like you to be part of our online family.

Even if the pedometer you are using is an older or simple monitor you can still walk with us – virtually – and meet those fitness goals. If you don’t have a pedometer yet and you’re sticking to budget with your back-into-shape regime, grab a simple step counter and let’s get moving!

In the end you don’t really need to track every mile you walk or every calorie you burn. As long as you are in relatively good health you also won’t need to worry about your heart rate or any of the other special features that many modern pedometers offer. However, with that said, if you’re walking alone you might like to have an MP3 capable pedometer so you can listen to your favorite music, podcasts or motivational tracks while you walk. It’s a great way to work out.

There are but a few basics to getting back into shape with a pedometer. First of all – unless you have a model that supports pocket or purse tracking, you’ll want to remember to always place your pedometer on your waist or hips for precise measurement and accurate step counts. The best place is directly above your hip bone so if you’re wearing a low-riding pant you may need to clip the pedometer on the bottom of a tight fitting shirt to get an accurate reading.

Next you’ll need to find some time to walk every day. This could be a morning walk with the dog, an after dinner walk around the block or, if the weather is terrible, just walking in place during the evening news or your favorite television show. Whatever you decide to do you’ll want your first goal to be taking 10,000 steps per day to get started. If you are carrying a lot of extra weight right now you can work out a plan for yourself to build up to that over the first or second week.

I know that 10,000 steps sounds like a lot but hear me out. On average the Monday to Friday,9-5 desk employee walks just under 2000 steps a day just going about normal activity. If this is your lifestyle you really only need to find an extra 8,000 steps more per day. On another post you’ll find some easy suggestions to incorporate more steps into your day – decreasing the time needed to meet your goal by day’s end.

If you will be working your way up to 10,000 steps per day please do it slowly. In fact you might want to speak to your doctor about your plans before you begin a walking regime. We are not doctors at Pedometers.org and have no idea of your current physical condition.

If you’ll be meeting your initial goal by walking outside you’ll need a good pair of sneakers or running shoes. Again, if you’re on a tight budget you might consider purchasing a pair of orthotic insoles as inserts into an older pair of running shoes you own. You will appreciate the extra support and shock absorbing value of a good shoe or insole after your first few walks. Furthermore either will help you keep your balance and support your joints while you walk yourself fit.

So, are you ready? Great! Let’s get walking….

For the first few days we suggest wearing your pedometer all day while you go about your daily business. At the end of each day write down the number of steps you already take to see if you fit into the ‘normal’ range. Our normal or average is about 2,000 per day just walking around the office, to lunch and to the car. However you may not park as far away from the office as we do or need to hand deliver messages and letters to co-workers. The point is, everyone is different.

Keeping in mind that your first goal is to walk a total of 10,000 steps per day increase your daily average by 1,000 to 2,000 steps per day until you are consistently and easily finishing the day at your goal.

To give you an idea of what is ahead for you, 10,000 steps per day helps the average person maintain their current weight given no other changes. 15,000 gets you moving towards losing weight.

The reason we start out at 10,000 is because you’ll be building muscle tone in the beginning and muscle tone increases your metabolism making your body more efficient at burning fat and losing weight (among other benefits).

If your primary goal is to loose weight it is in the third week or so that you might want to start weighing yourself regularly and keeping an eye on your food intake for high value foods. Remember food is fuel for the body and you’ll want to cut back on all the unhealthy diet choices to aid your body into efficient operation. Keep your journal updated with your healthy choices, the number of steps taken from your pedometer each evening and your weight. Just don’t get too hung up on the actual weight reading – muscle weighs more than fat and you’ll be building muscle during this process. If you are really concerned about your weight or size purchase a fat loss monitor (see the top of the page for a link to our review) for less than $40. They are as handy and as inspirational to have as a personal use pedometer.

You’re probably wondering what happens after 10,000 or 15,000 steps per day. Once you have reached your weight or fitness goal and are ready to increase your aerobic exercise to stay fit, gain better health overall or to support your heart.

Most doctors and fitness experts will caution to not be in a rush to take it to the next level and we agree. Keep wearing your pedometer and taking your 10,000 or 15,000 steps daily for at least another 4 months. It has been researched that it will take an average of six months for any activity to become a habit. You want this daily activity to be one of your new habits so that you can enjoy a lifetime of health so keep at it for another four months or so before moving onto a new regime or activity.

Introduction to The Pedometer

“What is it? How does it work? And why do I want one?”

Let’s cover all these questions and a little bit more…

First of all a pedometer can be as simple as “a device the counts the steps a person takes.” Not quite as simple, the high-tech modern units can also measure and record heart rate, distance traveled in miles, count calories burned, create fitness programs and goals (via a connection to your home computer software or through internet services), and more. Let’s not get too distracted with the sophisticated features of new pedometers though – and get back to the basics for now.

So why would you want to use a pedometer? Well, all types of studies and research have now found that people with pedometers are more active than those without. It’s all about awareness of our lifestyles and how much exercise we get on a daily basis. A pedometer is a fantastic – low or high tech – tool that motivates use to be more physically active. Pedometers measure our physical activity and allow us to then set specific and measurable goals for the following week.Strap on your pedometer and take a walk along the boardwalk with me...

If you’re wondering how they measure the value of a step, allow me to illustrate. Most pedometers come with a small weighted arm mechanism built into the unit. This mechanism is suspended by a spring that moves up and down for every step taken. These are highly tuned units that are very specific in design to monitor the type of movement akin to walking. With every step taken the arm mechanism moves down and touches a contact that records the step.

This is why it is important to wear a pedometer midway between your hip and belly button. Wear it on the opposite side of your dominant leg (your dominant leg is the one that you’d use to kick a ball), but check your manual for your specific pedometer as some state to wear it on your non-dominant leg for best results.

How many steps a day make a difference in my fitness? You’ll see me talk a lot about 10,000 steps. 10,000 steps per day is the recommended number of steps that the average healthy adult should be moving every day to maintain their health.

Where did 10,000 come from? Well, the number 10,000 approximates 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. We’d all be a lot better off to strive for 15,000 steps per day (and I’ll show you in a future article how to easily add 5,000 steps to your day) for increased health, weight loss, and other benefits.

Since you are interested now in walking towards better health, I might as well share some facts with you regarding consumption (food) versus burning off those calories. I know these numbers changed the way I eat and make me much more conscious of every bite I take! I always ask myself now, “do I have time today for an extra 3,000 steps to burn off this Cola drink?”

Approximations of Intake versus Steps

  • 20 steps per calorie
  • 1 Triscuit cracker: 400 steps
  • 10 French Fries: 2000 steps
  • 12 oz cola drink: 3020 steps
  • 1 Slice of Pizza: 6900 steps
  • 1 Super Big Gulp: 12000 steps
  • 1 Super-sized Big Mac Meal: 35080 steps

Other Exercise versus Walking for Caloric Burn…

  • cycling at 5 mph: 50 steps/minute
  • cycling at 15 mph: 150 steps/minute
  • leisurely, but steady swim: 100 steps/minute
  • 40 minute brisk walk = 5000 steps

Add Some Steps to Your Day!

I know, I know. 10,000 steps a day to maintain your physical condition or 15,000 steps a day to lose weight and firm up sounds like a lot at first, but strap on a pedometer and go about your day and you’d be surprised how many steps you actually take even when you’re not trying.

Once you’ve counted and measured the steps you already take with a pedometer, here are some ways to add more steps to your day…Strap on a pedometer and get moving. How to add steps to your day.

  • Hand deliver office memos or walk down the hall to a co-worker’s office.
  • Take a lover’s walk, in the park, even if it’s raining.
  • Take the stairs – even if this means you need to get off the elevator a few floors early.
  • Walk up the escalator in malls and subways.
  • Park farther from the office, the grocery store, or the shopping mall.
  • Walk the kids to school instead of driving them.
  • Take the dog for a walk instead of just letting him outside the back door.
  • Take your designated breaks at work and walk around the building or city block as many times as time allows.
  • Do your grocery shopping in the order you have items listed, instead of going aisle-by-aisle.
  • Take the kids to the park and either run around with them or walk laps around the play area while they play on the swings and slides.

By adding steps to your day you are essentially increasing your level of fitness and burning more calories. Every little bit moves you closer to your goal whether it be a fitness goal or a weight loss goal.

The American Medical Association states that by increasing activity, you will also:

  1. Increase stamina.
  2. Stimulate weight loss.
  3. Lower blood cholesterol.
  4. Lower blood pressure.
  5. Improve self image.
  6. Improve mood.
  7. Enhance quality of life.

And it that’s not enough to get you moving more with your pedometer, the AMA also says you will:

  1. Sleep better.
  2. Strengthen your heart and lungs.
  3. Decrease stress levels and the effects of stress.
  4. Increase your energy.
  5. Maintain appropriate weight.
  6. Lower triglycerides.
  7. Control blood sugar levels (and risks of diabetes).
  8. Feel better.
  9. Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
  10. Improve productivity in all areas of your life.
  11. Build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.
  12. Increase muscle tone.
  13. Reduce risk of dying prematurely.

Really? It’s a win/win situation. A pedometer strapped onto your waist inspiring you to move around more often and in no time you’ll be looking better, feeling better, plus all the benefits above.

Your new life begins today! A healthier, longer, and no doubt happier, life!